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Hey, big spender: Winnipeg councillors’ expense report audits done

A calculator, expense sheet and a pen are shown. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Graham Hughes

Jeff Browaty is the hungriest, while Devi Sharma is the most connected.

Audits have been completed for last year’s spending by Winnipeg city councillors and the mayor, and it shows who spent what for several categories. Keep in mind there are several new councillors due to the election last year, so some spending is for the first 10 months and others is for the last two months of 2018.

Travel

Winnipeg city councillors don’t travel a lot, but several still did attend things like outside city conferences and ceremonies. St. James Coun. Scott Gillingham spent the most on travel at $2,317, with St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard close behind at $2,307.

Luncheons, events and receptions

Every councillor, with the exception of Kevin Klein, submitted luncheon expenses for 2018, but it was North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty who has the biggest appetite. He spent $3,716 on luncheons and receptions last year.

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Business meetings

Former Point Douglas Coun. Mike Pagtakhan ran up the biggest bill here by far, at $5,792. The closest spender for business meetings was St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes at $2,723.

Phone

Old Kildonan Coun. Devi Sharma may have racked up $4,774 in phone expenses in 2018 – but she clarified that’s because she has a community office, in addition to her City Hall office. Two offices, two phone lines. An interesting note is new St. Norbert Coun. Markus Chambers, who spent $970 in two months, putting him on track to spend $5,820 in 2019.

Overall

Councillors have to pay for things like advertising, office supplies and staff out of their ward budgets as well. The biggest spender overall goes to River Heights Coun. John Orlikow. Of the councillors who were still on council after the election, Waverley West Coun. Janice Lukes spent the least at $75,740.

The Mayor

Mayor Brian Bowman’s budget for his office is much bigger by comparison. Overall, his office spent $1.6 million in 2018. That includes $3,497 for travel, $57,831 for lunches and events, $5,227 for business meetings and $16,419 for his office’s phone bill.

See the full spending audits below.

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Councillors:

Mayor:

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